# Grid Method for multiplication - are your pupils weaned off it by end of year five?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by mounthood, Sep 10, 2011.

1. ### AnonymousNew commenter

I tutor maths students of all abilities. Tables knowledge is not brilliant even amongst higher grade students. Then when you look at related division facts and factors - again not brilliant.

2. ### mashymwa

There are only 36 facts that learners need to master. Teachers may use whatever method they are familiar with.What works for me with the 5's is masterly through practice as well as relating these facts to real life situations works perfectly.

3. ### reilloc

I think you mean "they're" or "they are" !!!

4. ### Maths_MikeNew commenter

Given that times tables alone would account for more than 36 "facts" to be learnt I find you point difficult to accept.
36 concepts or skills might be more likley.

5. ### AnonymousNew commenter

I try to make the point with my tutees how easy it is to do the difficult ones when you know the "easier ones".
4 x 7 = 28 so 8 x 7 = 56
Some get that. Some use it. Some then forget how to double. Basic concepts that need drumming in to them. Regularly. If you don't use them, you lose them.

6. ### D Franklin

If you know that 1 x N = N, and 10 x N = N0, then you only need the tables for 2 through 9. If you also know that N x M = M x N, you only need to know N x M for N <= M. This is only 28 table facts (+ the rulles for multiplying by 1, 10 and commutativity).

Not that I'm saying this is the "right" way of thinking about it, but a variant of this is probably what mashymwa had in mind.

7. ### PaulDGOccasional commenter

And finally we arrive at the real problem.
We are now trained to deliver "deep understanding" in our lessons - apparently lots of practice is both "boring" and proves the teacher is too lazy to plan a proper lesson.
Poor apparently behaviour in our classes comes from this. Practice is boring. Practice is a waste of teaching and learning time. Practice indicates a lazy teacher who pretends a worksheet is an alternative to a mixed ability activity where the real learning would have taken place. And, of course, the real poing is that practice doesn't demonstrate "Outstanding Progress" is made in a 20 minute observation slot.
Frankly, if you want your kids to be numerate, don't for one second imagine a state school will help - state schools exist to put on shows for Ofsted, not to teach kids to actually be able to do anything.

8. ### AnonymousNew commenter

Like
It's the same in primary. Progress in every lesson. Sometimes you just need to practice. Use it. Use it in context. Apply it. I have lost count of the number of children who just can't divide, subtract, subtract mentally, find the difference or multiply because "they've already done that" and have progressed on and haven't looked at that stuff for ages.

9. ### stevencarrwork

As I said in a post way back when on this thread, I want A-Level students who can multiply 6 by 4 correctly, and then we can worry about 15 times 15.
I do have computer programs to drill in tables for some of my A-Level students. And I'm not afraid to use them. I get a bit embarrassed telling a student he is good at maths, because he can do calculus ,when he can't multiply 25 by 25....
Don't they know C1 is a non-calculator exam?

10. ### Mathsteach2Established commenter

OK, I am retired and out-of-touch. I do not even know what the grid method is! And my apologies, I have yet to read the entire thread.

I bought my first scientific calculator in 1975, before that I was still using a slide rule. As I moved into involvement with primary and infant children and with the advent of computers into schools (circa 1980) I saw nothing wrong with calculators, at any age.

Even now, in my retirement, I teach for understanding but I also say that mathematics is a symbolic language, and we have to learn it just like a foreign language like french or latin. If we can manipulate the symbols, and we understand place value, I have no problems teaching long multiplication if calculators are not permitted (or the battery is flat, whatever).

I would introduce the grid method (whatever that is) or anything else of interest in mathematics if time permitted. In the past, with the time, I have preferred to discuss the concept of infinity with young children, or get them to play purposefully with Cuisinaire Rods.

I will find out what the grid method is, and if it competes with my priorities (e.g. set theory, the binary system, topology and infinity - including the infinitesimally small - what is a point?) when I am working with young children, I might give it a try.

?????????

12. ### PaulDGOccasional commenter

About the same here. It was a sinclair scientific (Reverse Polish; Radians & Natural Logs only.)
Nor did I then. Why bother with log tables, I thought? Why waste time in primary learning times tables and doing all that repetitive long multiplication and division.
Now I know better..
Now I know I can't teach kids how to do basic fractions because they simply don't know what cancelling down is all about. I know I'm expected to teach factors, prime factor decomposition and I find it all uphill because they can't divide by anything. (Nor even reliably write out a list of numbers counting in, say, 7s to find out if 7 is a factor..)
And in some cases they can't comprehend area as a multiplication because when they do examples they simply don't equate 5 colums by 4 rows being 20 square units as meaning anything as they just don't recognise 5x4 = 20. (So they're left with counting squares which they confuse with counting edges to find the perimeter.)
That time doing all those times tables are repetitive long multiplication and division in primary wasn't being wasted. It was being invested.
It didn't just teach times tables & a couple of algorithms.
It also taught that sitting down and doing an hour of serious work was to be expected at school (and to experience the joy of getting a higher score this week than last), not to be rejected as "boring".

13. ### Maths_MikeNew commenter

So 28 + the fact that facts of x1 and x 10 and commutivity - thats 31. But your ignoring the fact that they need to know what numbers are, how to use digits and place value etc.etc so if you are going to split hairs I think your logic is flawed.

14. ### Leicester_VicsNew commenter

You seem to think the same doesn't happen in primary. You think we don't have children coming up into y5/6 who can't do basic maths?
That makes our job harder too. But we also have to fix it. And I certainly find that my children can access the grid method, whereas they struggle with long multiplication.

15. ### AnonymousNew commenter

There are children in year 5 and 6 who can't do bonds to 10, adding and subtracting within 20 and basic subtraction and addition without relying on column methods or number lines. I had a year 5 last week who insisted there was a 9p coin.
Does make life interesting in these years.

16. ### DMNew commenter

Sounds reasonable when you consider how many goods have prices that end in a 9.

17. ### AnonymousNew commenter

These are 10 year olds.Sorry but after 6 years of education, teaching about money and hopefully using it in real life, it's something they should have learnt.
Mind you, a 99p coin would be really useful.

18. ### DMNew commenter

I'll get my coat.

19. ### yellowfresia

Hopefully when you've calmed down you'll regret your harsh remarks too. primary teachers do do their job properly. When was the last time you followed a primary school teacher for the day?

20. ### KarvolOccasional commenter

The chap has not been seen for a while...